Re: How to introduce the elder races

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_...>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:27:41 -0000

michaelalewis25 said:

> You make my point exactly. They are so strange
> and extreme, that I could not give them justice
> when introducing them to my players. They are
> almost unplayable by PC's.

I've played both an elf and a troll, both for very extended periods.

I think the key for elves is that only the outcasts are interesting. Normal elves have no personality of their own. They are part of the song, with their own persona even less noticable than a single member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Outcasts can be interesting. And all that the player needs to know is that they are an outcast from the great mind that they wil never experience -- bitterness, lonelieness, etc. Very emo.

The key for dwarves is that they are cogs int he world machine, but the world machine is badly broken. If they are properly functioning cogs, then they are uninteresting. But you could start off with a dwarf who is happily doing its job when things go wrong. There's a breakdown and it doesn't have orders. It has to figure things out. Then it starts to question. Ultimately, it must leave.

Trolls are highly playable. Just think of them as big mama's boys who are able and willing to eat anything. That gets you 80% there. Unless you play a female troll. Then you're in charge. If you play a trollkin, you live in awe and fear of the mothers who rule (and eat) the trollkin. You hope to be sent off on some expedition to somewhere less dangerous, like anywhere.

Dragonnewts are insane, from a human perspective. They are progressing towards dragon-hood, and what they do and are matters. I've never really figured out how to play them. If I were to try it, I would use personality characteristics as magic, but where using the magic expends the personality. i think someone suggested this before, based on Pandragon; not having payed Pendragon, I think your personality is in paired traits. I'll use outwardness-withdrawnness as an example of traits (which I;m pretty sure are not in Pendragon). So, I can cast an attack spell with my outwardness personality trait, but that makes me more withdrawn. As I interact with the world, my personality gets pushed around by events, which is what I don't want, since that distracts my progress. The strange changes in behavior that seem random might occur because, while interacting with someone, I realize that I can use some part of my personality that I am not trying to preserve. So, if I don't want to become more withdrawn, I might not react to the stupid humans, until I realize that I can unleash my deceitfulness by presenting them with a terrifying illusion. I don't think this would be much fun to play in a group, so it is unsatisfying for me.

As NPC's, they are great. Just make them terrifyingly random. Their big bosses will often stick to the terms of their alliances, but they will usually be of short duration and be on terms that the human side of the alliance does not understand. "What do you mean we will meet on the dark side of shadow when the roe flows side hill? Exactly where is that?"


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